Why Trust the Bible for Moral Guidance and Wisdom?

Post Author: Bill Pratt 

Turn on the TV nowadays, and for the most part we hear that the Bible is outdated and full of culturally irrelevant foolishness from the ancient near east. Nothing to be learned from it. No reason to study it. Every reason to ignore it.

Commentator Dennis Prager, though, recently wrote a piece at National Review Online where he claimed, shockingly enough, that he goes to the Bible for moral guidance and wisdom. How strange! Why does Prager take the Bible seriously? For beginners:

It was this book that guided every one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, including those described as “deists.” It is the book that formed the foundational values of every major American university. It is the book from which every morally great American from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to the Reverend (yes, “the Reverend,” almost always omitted today in favor of his secular credential, “Dr.”) Martin Luther King Jr. got his values.

It is this book that gave humanity the Ten Commandments, the greatest moral code ever devised. It not only codified the essential moral rules for society, it announced that the Creator of the universe stands behind them, demands them, and judges humans’ compliance with them.

It gave humanity the great moral rule, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

It taught humanity the unprecedented and unparalleled concept that all human beings are created equal because all human beings — of every race, ethnicity, nationality, and both male and female — are created in God’s image.

Prager offers several more reasons, and then sums up:

Without this book there would not have been Western civilization, or Western science, or Western human rights, or the abolitionist movement, or the United States of America, the freest, most prosperous, most opportunity-giving society ever formed.

This reminds me of Reg in Monty Python’s The Life of Brian. As he was complaining bitterly about the Romans, his comrades kept reminding him of the good things the Romans had done. His response: “All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”

Indeed, aside from Western civilization, Western science, Western human rights, the abolitionist movement, and the United States of America, what has the Bible ever done for us?

For those who claim we should find our moral guidance somewhere else, Prager answers:

If not from the Bible, from where should people get their values and morals? The university? The New York Times editorial page? Those institutions have been wrong on virtually every great issue of good and evil in our generation. They mocked Ronald Reagan for calling the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” More than any other group in the world, Western intellectuals supported Stalin, Mao, and other Communist monsters. They are utterly morally confused concerning one of the most morally clear conflicts of our time — the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and other Arabs. The universities and their media supporters have taught a generation of Americans the idiocy that men and women are basically the same. And they are the institutions that teach that America’s founders were essentially moral reprobates — sexist and racist rich white men.

We need clear moral teaching as much as ever, and secularists have utterly failed to provide it. With Prager, I stand firmly on the moral wisdom promulgated in the Bible. God’s word shines today as brightly as it ever did.

  • The problem is that you need a source of moral guidance from outside the Bible to tell you which passages in the Bible should be ignored or interpreted metaphorically. There are many wonderfully inspiring sentiments in the Bible, but if you just look to it, you might not realize that genocide, slavery, and beating children with big sticks are bad ideas.

  • Sorry, but I don’t get why it’s ‘strange’ or ‘shockingly enough’ that Dennis Prager would write such an article. It’s not like he’s a liberal atheist champion of secular values publishing in the Huffington Post. Rather, he’s a Conservative believer in the Old Testament God, who writes predominantly for Conservative Christians, publishing the article on a Conservative website.

    I don’t get the comparison to Reg from Life of Brian either – the joke with Reg is that his attempts to stick the boot into the Romans kept getting waylaid by having to grudgingly admit ‘what the Romans have done for us’. That’s not comparable to Prager, as he has no history of trying to ‘stick the boot’ into the bible. He’s not ‘grudgingly admitting’ this stuff. The nearest he comes to saying there’s a conflict between his own feelings and what the bible tells him is at the end when he talks about how his heart leads him to support gay marriage. But even that strikes a false note with me given that Prager is on record as saying that SSM is a greater threat to America than economic depression.

  • thebereancall7

    Hello everyone !Few years ago I did not know they were considerable differences not only on the Bible translation but among the ancient Bible manuscripts too. Please check this link

    and shared your comments about it. Thank you !


    Jesus is Lord !